Friday, 31 January 2014

Spent a very enjoyable hour watching the feeder by the cafe at RSPB Pulborough today; Great Tit, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Marsh Tit, Greenfinch, House Sparrow, Reed Bunting, Chaffinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker (2), Dunnock, Nuthatch, Robin and even a Moorhen all present. All so quick I found it difficult to photo, but here's a Coal Tit with a bit of stick and the back of a Nuthatch!

Back home, and here is our resident white Pheasant, feeding under our bird table:

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Up to West Dean Woods today, parked up at the "car park" up the hill to the right of Staple Ash Farm, didn't fancy getting the van stuck on the verge although a couple of other birders took the risk and were OK.
Plenty of finches about round the farm, mainly Chaffinches but there were also three Brambling mixed in. Walking towards the cottage there were two, maybe three Hawfinch with scope required to view in the tall trees,  further up at Monkton Farm and I thought I had a flyover Lesser Spotted Woodpecker though far from 100% on this one. A gentle amble back to the sounds of a shooting party (ahem) and pleased to see this Red Legged Partridge had escaped for the time being:

Nipped in to Pagham Lagoon on the way back to find a force eight gale and no Slavonian Grebe for me just a single female Goldeneye, the grebe is in residence apparently so will be back another day.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Today was a good day, albeit with a slow start.

 Headed off into Hampshire, first stop West Lane on Hayling Island for the European White-Fronted Goose seen regularly with the Brent Geese, alas the tide was wrong and the geese were all out in Langstone Harbour feeding so I resolved to return later in the day...

On to Blashford Lakes for the drake Ferruginous Duck, which was located after a while on the far bank. What a venue Kingfisher Lake is! The only viewing is from behind a tall mesh fence through ivy, willow and alder! Prolonged views are nearly impossible but luckily a trip back here in the late afternoon found the bird out in the middle of the lake preening and much more viewable. Really pleased to get it as I had expected a dip, not sure what the neighbours think of all and sundry birders staring through the fence though!

A quick successful trip down to Sopley for the Green-Winged Teal again and then it was back up to the Blashford Lake visitor centre to try for the Mealy Redpoll.

Friendly staff at the centre pointed me in the direction of the Woodside Hide where the feeders were abuzz with all manner of Tits, Reed Buntings, a Nuthatch, Siskins:

 Lesser Redpolls and I'm pleased to a Mealy Redpoll too:

Homeward bound and a stop off at Hayling again where the first bird in the scope was the juvenile European White Fronted Goose, now feeding happily with the Brent Goose flock:

Monday, 20 January 2014

Finally got the Green Winged Teal at Sopley, Hampshire this afternoon. I may go back for pictures one early morning as the light always seems terrible there mid-day ish. After that me and my old van complete with new gear linkage (the van not me...) had a look for the adult Glaucous Gull reported at Church Norton. I found it sitting on the far side of Tern Island after a few other birders had said it wasn't present, though I must say it spends a lot of time sitting down:

Also a Red Breasted Merganser in the harbour:

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Obviously I'm not going to disclose the location, suffice to say it was in Sussex and this photo was taken today, a Ruddy Duck:

Friday, 17 January 2014

Caught up the Red Crested Pochard on Copse Lake today. This is a real illusionist of a bird, there one minute and gone the next, worth the effort though I thought.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

The Rooks are repairing their nests in the rookery opposite and a few new nests are being built high- a sure sign of a great Spring to come!

So true!

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Thanks partly to a few good Sussex Birders and a slice of luck, I finally made contact with the Shoreham Glaucous Gull today! I arrived early (unusual for me!) and almost immediately found the gull along the West harbour arm, I rushed onto the arm to get a quick snap but then somehow lost sight of the bird. It transpired that it must have flown out to sea as about forty minutes later it reappeared following a trawler into the harbour. Alerted by a shout that it was there, good views were had as it drifted into the harbour with a mellee of other gulls. I may go back for pictures as it certainly was a beast! Incidentally, on one of my previous trips for this bird this week I found a Caspian Gull (2nd Winter) on the beach near the West arm which I'm told is a good record for West Sussex.

On Saturday we had a few minutes at Hayling where we picked up some genuine Black Necked Grebes (ie: not Little Grebes!), rubbish record shot here:

Monday, 6 January 2014

A sickly son and back to the day job of saving the planet means not much birding time today!!
Did however snap these up in the trees by the orchard, lovely Fieldfares, we get lots of these but never many Redwings until later in the year.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Also today,  a team of young birders (and one not quite so young!) took part in the Sussex Ornithological Society bird race. They are raising money for the SOS and for a memorial for a friend of theirs who passed away recently, worth supporting if you can.

A little video of the Hove Grey Phalarope here:

The bird showed down to a metre but was unfortunately a bit bothered by dogs and flew to the far end of the lagoon as I was leaving.

A couple of stills:

Saturday, 4 January 2014


Not the best day, not much on Swanbourne Lake, couldn't find much at either Ivy Lake (no Red Crested Pochard for me) or Drayton Pits.. generally a bit quiet though a Dartford Warbler & a Willow Warbler put in appearances at East Head and Sidlesham sewage works respectively, so perhaps just picked the wrong places! Picture of a Gadwall from Drayton here:

Friday, 3 January 2014


Started off today with a look for the Whooper Swans at Ivy Lake, Chichester but no sign for me, also missed the female Red Crested Pochard that was reported on Birdguides later in the day. Had more luck in West Lane, Hayling though, as the Black Brant was present with the Dark Bellied Brents, the bird has a bright white full neck collar and is quite obvously darker than its companions:

Part two of today's trip was to Sopley in Hampshire/Dorset (kind of on the border so I'm told) for the Green Winged Teal. I strongly suspect the bird was there but a 100% ID was impossible in the thunder and driving rain. I've never got more wet birding. I'm convinced this is an over-looked bird in Sussex at least, so will keep looking. Picture of the Teal by the Avon Causeway, it's the one second from the left ;-)

Last look of the day was for the Mandarin Ducks on Arundel's Swanbourne Lake. I was lucky enough to see one just before it flew off back into the WWT centre. I'm wise to their game now, breakfast at the WWT, bread all day on the Lake then home for tea! No photo of the drake today but will have another go tomorrow, weather permitting!!

Thursday, 2 January 2014


Went to Ashdown Forest for the Parrot Crossbills today, good to see some friendly faces there too (and few unfriendly ones but what can you do...). Inadvertently shot a video of the Parrots so if I can edit it I will post it too, anyway here they are in all their glory:

Also had a lovely Little Gull at Broadmarsh in the morning.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014


After a report on Birdguides of a Black Brant and thinking this would be a good start to the New Year started on the journey to Emsworth... ten minutes in "Report Erroneous" arrived on the phone..oh well back to watching the bird table it is then!